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Daily Bulletin

Friday, January 2, 1998

University of Waterloo • Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
December 22 Bulletin | Previous days | UWevents | UWinfo home page

And a happy new year

The campus is coming back to life today after the long Christmas break. Fall term marks are due at the registrar's office today, and then our faces turn towards the winter term, which begins bright and early (well, early anyway) on Monday.

Noteworthy as we all practise writing "1998" instead of "1997":

The news on meningitis shots

Clinics will operate on campus starting next Wednesday, as public health nurses continue vaccinating tens of thousands of young people against meningococcal meningitis. The disease has killed two teenagers in Kitchener-Waterloo in the past month and put several others in hospital.

The Region of Waterloo Health Unit provides this background information:

What are the symptoms? Symptoms of meningitis or meningococcemia include a fever, feeling generally unwell, headache, vomiting and stiff neck. A body rash is common, and may look like pinpoints of bruising or larger bruise-like areas. Quick medical attention and treatment with antibiotics is necessary to treat these infections.

How is it spread? The bacteria is found in saliva and mucus, and is spread from person to person through direct contact with saliva such as can occur by kissing or sharing items like eating utensils, cigarettes or cans of pop.

Vaccinations started a few days before Christmas, aimed at teenagers, and local schoolchildren are now being put through the clinics as fast as possible. The goal is to vaccinate everybody aged 2 through 22 who lives, works or studies in K-W and the surrounding townships.

Barbara Schumacher, director of UW's health services, said this morning that clinics will be in operation in the Student Life Centre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week. Exact details will be announced. Meanwhile, university students and other young adults are welcome to get their vaccinations at a clinic at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, tomorrow and Sunday, but there may be long lineups of schoolchildren there.

Universities ask about fee rules

Leaders of Ontario universities are still trying to find out exactly what provincial treasurer Ernie Eves meant in his December 15 announcement that some tuition fees are being deregulated. UW president James Downey was part of a delegation that met with government officials on the last working day before the holiday to pose some questions. "It may be well into January, if not the end of January," he said, "before those things are sorted out."

The treasurer said individual universities will be allowed to set their own fees for graduate and "professional" programs. The "professional" category presumably starts with medicine and law, Downey said, but what else is included? "It depends what principle informs this decision. Is it job prospects?" After all, he said, graduates in some clearly defined "professions", such as architecture, aren't certain of getting high-paying jobs. But there are other fields -- he cited computer science -- where good jobs are the norm, but there isn't a formal "profession".

The president is also looking at co-op programs in general, which he said are "expressly designed to lead to employment". On that basis, he suggested, fees for all co-op programs should be deregulated. "There are the prospects of a good return on the investment the student is making. . . . There's a case to be made, and I will make the case." He conceded that most other universities don't have much interest in pushing for fees in co-op programs to be deregulated; Waterloo is not only (by a large margin) the biggest co-op university in Ontario, it's the biggest in the world.

Many other questions are also open, such as the meaning of Eves's statement that money from fee increases is supposed to be used to increase the number of students universities can handle in high-demand scientific and technical fields. Is it really possible, Downey asked, that the government wants arts students to pay higher tuition fees so the university can make room for more engineering students?

"More positively," he said, "I think it is a step in the right direction to give institutions more flexibility in the setting of fees."

Proposed statement on use of computing

A draft of a new policy statement on "Use of UW Computing and Communications Facilities" is being circulated by the University Committee on Information Systems and Technology. Comments are invited, and there will be open meetings to discuss it shortly, a memo from UCIST says. The draft is available on the Web and will be published in next week's Gazette.

Jay Black, associate provost (IST), explains: "UCIST felt it appropriate, after six years, to review the 1991 statement with a view to determining whether it continues to meet the needs of the University in this age of rapidly changing technology. . . . UCIST felt it important that practical, uniform guidelines be in place to ensure equal treatment across Faculties and departments.

"Further, since the 1991 statement was issued, there has been an explosion in the area of world wide web access. While UCIST recognizes and supports the existence of personal webpages, it has been grappling with what constitutes appropriate content. UCIST is particularly interested in the opinions of the UW community with respect to the purpose and appropriate content of University-supported webpages."

Black said there's no plan for draconian action to make sure that computer users never send an off-topic e-mail message or mention nonacademic matters on their Web pages. But, he said, there are some flagrant offenders, and "UCIST is hoping that these people will take a hint."

So, here's some of what the draft policy statement says:

The University of Waterloo's mission is to advance learning and knowledge through teaching, research, and scholarship, nationally and internationally, in an environment of free inquiry and expression. The computing facilities at the University of Waterloo, and the on- and off-campus electronic communication systems by which they are interconnected and accessed, exist to support this mission. Access to these facilities is granted to University students, faculty members, staff members, and recognized visitors, who in turn are required to make responsible use of these resources to carry out the research/instructional/administrative tasks expected of them as members of the UW community.

Most of these facilities are shared resources used by a large population of users. Both users and System Administrators should ensure that these resources are used appropriately; quotas may be enforced to promote equitable sharing of resources. . . .

Information made publicly available through UW resources implies an affiliation with the University and should, therefore, reflect appropriately upon the institution. This is especially germane to the Web with its world-wide distribution and access. Normal standards of professionalism and scholarship, as well as relevance to the mission of UW, should be the basis for determining the appropriateness of information made available on University facilities.

Misuse of computing and communication facilities may result in disciplinary action within the University; it could also lead to civil action and/or criminal charges. The Associate Dean of Computing for the Faculty, or delegate (in the case of student offenses), or the relevant University administrative officer, or delegate (in the case of faculty and staff offenses), has responsibility for handling cases of misuse, including imposing disciplinary action. Questions concerning what may constitute misuse, should be directed to the appropriate Associate Dean of Computing or University administrative officer.

Rights and Responsibilities: The University is responsible for all computing facilities (including software) used on campus and those used off campus if purchased directly or indirectly with UW funds. The University also owns the cabling, switches, routers and devices at UW that are used to connect to the campus and/or from the campus to the Internet. The University determines who is authorized to use its network and computing facilities. . . . Use of a user ID for purposes other than those for which it was issued, or by persons other than the individual for whom it was issued, is deliberate misuse. . . .

Inappropriate behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Use of a facility in support of private or commercial purposes, without making prior arrangements with the University.
  2. Attempting to attain unauthorized access to any resources associated with another person's user ID.
  3. Monopolizing system resources (e.g., locking an unattended public workstation for more than 10 minutes).
  4. Excessive use of computing and communication facilities (e.g., bandwidth), as it affects others' use of resources.
  5. Disruptive or destructive behaviour, particularly in a public computing area; this includes loud or extended conversations, or unusually noisy or loud computer applications.
  6. Unethical conduct, including: mailing messages which could be seen to be harassing and/or intimidating, or the public display of images which could be seen to be obscene or promoting disrespect towards a person or group of persons. This also includes images displayed on web pages or printed out in public printer areas.
  7. The mailing of chain letters or for-profit messages.
  8. Deliberate concealment or forgery of the sender's user ID in electronic mail messages or news postings.
  9. Theft or willful damage to equipment.
  10. Copying software without a license or permission.
Kapilan Palasanthiran
Star photo)

Shooting victim was UW student

Kapilan Palasanthiran, a first-year UW physics student who lived at St. Paul's United College, was shot dead at a Scarborough (Toronto) doughnut shop December 27. Two companions were injured. Police are saying that four gunmen -- who haven't been found or identified -- fired about a dozen shots into the shop. It's thought that the three victims, who had stopped off for coffee after a movie, were probably mistaken for members of a gang; there has been Sri Lankan gang conflict in the Finch-Warden area for several years.

Challenge funds from Ontario

Applications for money -- potentially big money -- from the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund need to be put together in a big hurry, says Carolyn Hansson, UW's vice-president (university research). She says the "request for proposals" arrived December 17 and the deadline for applications is January 30. "This is final and cannot be negotiated."

The ORDCF is offering funding for projects "relevant to business and industry", both long-term and short-term. A major goal is "to attract and keep world class researchers in Ontario". Projects have to have business and industry "partners" who provide at least one-third of the project cost, in cash. The university (or college or hospital) must make a contribution too, usually meaning faculty and staff salaries that represent the time spent on research. The federal Canada Foundation for Innovation will usually be asked to contribute funding. And the provincial government will send money -- the total budget is $500 million over ten years.

"We will have to collect concrete proposals within the first two weeks of the year," says Hansson. She says "any input" should be directed to her or to Grahame Farquhar (fark@civoffice.watstar), who's coordinating UW's involvement in the ORDCF and CFI projects.

Sports and recreation notes

The Columbia Icefield will be open for recreational skating tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 2 p.m.; otherwise, rec facilities don't reopen until Monday.

The basketball Warriors have an exhibition game against the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers at 4 this afternoon in the Physical Activities Complex main gym.

The basketball Athenas host a New Year's Invitational tournament in the PAC today through Sunday. Games will be played today at noon, 2:00, 6:00 and 8:00 (the evening game is Waterloo vs. Calgary); Saturday at 1:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 8:00; Sunday at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. Tickets are $6 per two-game session or $15 for the whole weekend.

The volleyball Athenas also have a tournament going, in the Columbia Recreation Complex. Games today are at 9, 10:30, 12, 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6, and 7:30; Saturday, the same hours except no game at 4:30; Sunday, 9:00, 11:00 and 1:00. Tickets are $8 for a day or $15 for the weekend.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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